Thursday, June 17, 2010


My youngest daughter is a vegetarian. The rest of the residents of our happy home are not. It's a very amicable live and let live environment. We respect her right to choose not to eat meat and she respects our right to choose to eat it. All three of us have, at some point or another, attempted the vegetarian lifestyle ourselves. It never took. We loves us some beef. Because I swore I would not be one of those mothers who cooks multiple meals every night, I have taken to cooking predominately vegetarian at home. Every now and then I'll make a meal that includes meat and make a little meatless alternative for my little veg, but for the most part we only get meat when we go out to eat. It's respectful to her, it's better for us, and it's pretty darn cost-effective.

She is out of town this week, visiting my parents.

We are having a meat-orgy of unprecedented proportions. We eased in with Chicken Cordon Bleu. Meat and cheese wrapped in meat. Then we had BLT's - heavy on the B, moderate on the T, L was offered as an option but I'm not sure any of us took it. We indulged in a simple ground beef recipe that we all enjoy but that doesn't taste good at all with meat substitute. Ask me how I know. But last night... Oh, last night our meat-a-palooza got serious.

It was steak night.

Because we so rarely indulge, I gave Tom $20 and told him to pick up steaks on the way home from work. He passes a Whole Foods on the way home and I only have quick local access to Kroger. We never have steak; we should have the good stuff.

I'm not kidding, we talked about this meal for, like, three days. We were seriously psyched about these steaks.

He called from his cell. "I'm going in to pick up the steaks. What should I get?"

"The best you can get for $20 for 3 people. Quality over quantity. Ask the folks at the counter for advice. They'll be happy to help. They'll feel important."

The phone rang again in about ten minutes. "Three T-bones, baby!"

"Three T-bones for $20? That must've been one helluva sale!"

"I kinda supplemented your $20."

"By what?"

"By doubling it."

There was a tone of giddy anticipation in his voice that is usually reserved for those evenings when both girls have sleepovers.

I hummed while I prepared the baked potatoes and the corn. I hummed a little steaky song I made up myself. "Steak, steak, I'm gonna have steak. Steak on the grill, gonna grill some steak." I guess you really need the melody to get the full effect. It was totally a good song though. I could tell, 'cause it made me feel all tingly inside.

"When is Daddy getting home with the steaks?"

"Soon! Set the table - cause he's only gonna throw 'em on the grill long enough to warm 'em up a little bit."

"ouagh" (that's my daughter making a sound no mother should ever hear her daughter make)

Once those steaks were on our plates, there was no room for anything else. Our entire plates were eclipsed by meat. Grill marks on the outside, dark pink on the inside. Steaks as big as a dinner plate. Times three. We couldn't speak, we just consumed. Lea had no desire to supplement her meal with potatoes or corn on the cob, but both were on the table. No one had any room for any on their plate. Tom and I put a little dent in our meat then put a potato on our plate. Tom still didn't have enough room, so he cut off a huge piece of steak and stacked it on top of what was already on his plate, using the bottom steak as a surface upon which to cut his top steak into bite sized pieces.

At this point Lea was squatting on her chair gnawing on a bone. When I told her to please sit on her bottom she growled at me and turned away from the table, hunched protectively around her meat, throwing furtive glances over her shoulder from time to time to make sure we knew that that piece of carnage was HERS.

We finished it, folks.

I'm not proud of that, but we did.

When I got on Facebook the next morning, I noticed that all three of us had updated our statuses to mention our steak.



This is a lesson in moderation. If we hadn't been so completely deprived for so very long, I doubt that any one of us would've behaved like animals. I think I need to send the veg to a friend's house at least once a month so that the rest of us can meet our base needs. A nice little steak - the size of the palm of our hands - served with a baked potato and a nice green salad. Maybe even a little wine for the grown ups. We'll use cutlery and everything.

But the story won't be nearly as fun.

I know, I know, No One Cares What You Had For Lunch. But come on. It was steak. And besides - it was dinner.


Swine said...

Steak! Steak! Pretty little steak! That's one of my meat songs. Everyone oughtta have at least one. I'm so proud of the three of you. Next time, get fillets, and wrap 'em in bacon. Frakkin win!

Joanna Jenkins said...

"... meat-a-palooza" You are calling my name Tammy. The very best meal in the world is a juicy steak, baked potato with sour cream (and way too much butter) and corn on the cob. YUM-MMMMY.

Now I'm really really hungry. We're having steak this weekend for sure.

Great post.
xo jj

shortmama said...

I tried to be a vegetarian once. I think I lasted 3 days. Im ok with beef just occasionally but chicken and fish are things I CANNOT live without!

Cheryl said...

I kept thinking why T-bone? Why not get just the filet mignon? I mean c'mon!

The imagery in this was totally over the top. I can live without most meats but I need my burger. Prechewed meat is my favorite.

Claudya Martinez said...

I've been know to compose ditties to steak. I was vegetarian all through high school and then I gave it up because I love me some steak.

Unknown said...

I like a veggie meal now and then, but I gotta have at least chicken. Steak, as it's so expensive is a rarity at our house, but I think we're due to have some on the grill made my mouth water!

gayle said...

I love the way you have described that meal!! so cute and yummy!!

Alex the Girl said...

Wish I could take a page from your book! I tend to let our local vegetarian fend for herself. I'd probably be much healthier if I did it your way.

Liz Mays said...

Oh my word, you couldn't have enjoyed that meal more!

Macey said...

OMG, Tammy, I have been laughing since the "She's outta town this week....meat orgy." LOL!!!!!!!!

Rosa said...

I don't even like steak, and I loved that story! Well told. The image of Lea up on the chair guarding her very red meat was aweseome!

Anonymous said...


Sandy said...

Beef, corn and potato...that was my father's staple and it's my husband's. I can it or leave it most of the time but every once in a while.......

Sandy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Badass Geek said...

It's been a long while since I've cooked steaks on the grill. I think now is the time to change that.

Mandy said...

This was great Tammy! I could so picture you all snarling at each other with your fangs hanging out your mouth as you devoured your meat. I don't think I could ever go vegan. We basically only have chicken and ground turkey in our house -- so we're all about the fowl. But I save the steaks and hamburgers for dinner outings that are few and far between.... such a treat! Like ice cream for us carnivores! :)

True story -- a butcher shop named Wagner's in the New Orleans area used to hand out bumper stickers that said: "You Can't Beat Wagner's Meat!" Imagine the funny exchanges around the city as those were on many cars! ;)

Gibby said...

I love that you all updated your FB statuses! Hilarious!

Carma Sez said...

your youngest reminds me so much of myself at that age. Don't let her know this though or she may get frightened that she is going to end up like me ;-)

Unknown said...

If one of my kids became a vegetarian, an idea I can't fathom, they would have to deal with the carnivores who dwell here.
My kids all love meat, beef, pork , poultry, you name it.
Your steak story was great!!!